zrakor.gif (6225 bytes) About "Swordfish"  zrakor.gif (6225 bytes)


John Travolta plays a cool spy in the new cyber thriller "Swordfish"
Face it. Much like his battle with the bulge, Travolta's career has its share of ups and downs.
From reaching superstar status in the disco hit "Saturday Night Fever" to a mega stumble with his pet project "Battlefield Earth" - John has run the gambit of hits and misses.
But as he returns to the screen in the action thriller "Swordfish" we find our favorite Sweathog's back on top and looking better than ever. So what's his secret? Read on and find out.

Betty: Playing right across the street from here is the musical version of "Saturday Night Fever." Now tell me, is that a trip for you to see it made for the stage?
John: Yeah, I saw that on the way over here. It seems so long ago for me and it really is a trip, because normally you do a stage show and then it turns into a movie; like "Grease" of course, which I did the stage show first - and then we made it into a movie shortly after. So to do the reverse is odd...well, they did do it with "Carrie."

Betty: They actually made "Carrie" into a musical?
John: Yes, they did. Hard to believe huh? Did you see it?

Betty: Um...no.
John: Didn't think so.

Betty: Are you planning on seeing the stage version of "Saturday Night Fever?"
John: You know, I think I'll be in Australia and London promoting "Swordfish" - so I think I'll miss it.

Betty: Good answer. Based on the reviews, I don't think you'll be missing much. Now, there's word on the street that you've been considered for the film version of "Chicago" - is that going to happen?
John: You know, I recently saw "Chicago" again - and I just don't see a movie in it. Honestly, it's been offered to me three times, and I wondered if I was missing something. But I don't know how it translates into a movie, you know? Pissed off hookers. That's what it's about. I just don't know if it'll work.

Betty: Any word on "Pulp Fiction II"?
John: Quentin (Tarantino) is so secretive about what he writes and what he does that he's been incognito for about a year. I don't know what he's writing. But you never know...he could be writing something new, or he could be writing a prequel. He keeps it all pretty private, so we'll see.

Betty: There's also rumors floating around that you may be returning in the role of Chili Palmer for the sequel to "Get Shorty" - is that true?
John: Well, it's not written yet, so I guess once they write it, I'll take a look at it and we'll see. I wouldn't mind doing it. If it's good, then it would be fun to do. He's a great character to play.

Betty: Speaking of characters, in "Swordfish" you play a somewhat "bad guy" - much like you did in "Broken Arrow" - but are there any major differences?
John: If I differentiated the two, there's probably an insanity to the "Broken Arrow" character, where this guy feels his moves are righteous. The other guy gleefully killed people and was a war monger. This guy really sees the ugliness of terrorism and he feels that for the greater good, you can sacrifice a few people.

Betty: Was the concept of "Swordfish" an easy sell for you?
John: Yes and no. The first 10-15 pages I loved. I just thought it was crazy good and food for an actor. And then I really wanted to work with the writer (Skip Woods) to keep the theme throughout the movie. So we worked all summer long on it, and then it was an easy sell.

Betty: How was it working with your co-star Hugh Jackman?
John: Well, he reminds me of Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery in his essence, and I really like his screen presence. I think he's a real pro. A lot of Australian guys are well trained and they can do comedy and drama and musicals. I like his well-roundedness.

Betty: One of the things that I really love about your work is that you always add a little touch of something that's totally your own. Like in this movie, the simple act of holding your cigar a certain way adds character and depth. Do you purposely think of ways to do that on screen?
John: Oh good - I'm so glad you noticed! I think so much of effective roles are in the detail. I know it is. In "Pulp Fiction" - even after the heroin kick and high of driving to her house, I pulled two or three strands of hair down around my face - and that's what everybody remembered. And that shuffle to her house was a character in itself. Detail is so important.

Even with "Broken Arrow"...I'd seen an older gentleman who was a real war monger - and he would fill his barrel chest to breath and held his fingers wide open when he smoked his cigarette. Then in Europe, a lot of these international playboy types that just hang around for photo ops and rich women...you see them do this pretentious thing with their cigarettes or cigars. And you know they're doing it for effect. So all of these things are fun to add to your palette.
Halle Berry, John Travolta and Hugh Jackman in "Swordfish"

Betty: With you earning around $20 million per picture, it's no secret that you've made some serious cash over the last few years. Is it true that your secret to keeping most of it is from your ability to live off of the interest?
John: The old blue blood theory is that you don't spend your capital. I had a few years like that (living off of the interest)... but not anymore. It's something that you work for - or towards. Everyone works toward that goal if they want to keep anything of what they've earned over the years. I didn't know much about it early on. I mean I grew up in lower middle-class Englewood, New Jersey. It's just something that you learn.

Betty: How about the computer? Are you as swift with it as your character?
John: No way. I am not at all computer literate. In the cockpit I'm good at it, but I can't log-on and do all that other stuff.

Betty: The last time I saw you was for the "Battlefield Earth" press junket, and I must say, you were a bit heavier then. But wow...now you look great. I know it sounds tacky as all hell, but are you working out?
John: I am. Thanks for noticing! I've worked out for a solid year. Well, I was asked to by the film's producer (Joel Silver) basically...and I thought he was right. I was too heavy to play a slick, savvy spy. It would have been odd. So I said, "Okay, I'll lose the weight."

Betty: Wouldn't the hardest part be dieting? I mean, you are John Travolta. If you're craving Lobster Thermadore at 3AM, you can basically have it delivered to you. Or you could fly yourself to the finest eateries in the world. How the heck did you manage the food part of it all?
John: Well, I can't diet really, so I just cut my food in half. If I want a cheeseburger, I just cut it in half. If I want a piece of cake, I'll eat a third of it.

Betty: Isn't that still terribly difficult?
John: It is, but the satisfaction is still there as opposed to being on some boring diet.

Betty: Well, it's really working. You look like you did back in the days of "Welcome Back Kotter" for crying out loud.
John: Thanks!

Betty: So tell me, what's coming up next for you?
John: I'll be starring in the thriller "Domestic Disturbance" which is directed by Harold Becker ("City Hall") ....and I don't know what's after that yet. I think the possible actor's strike will have to find it's way into some type of closure. I think they're holding off on Fall projects until then.

Betty: If it does happen and you do go on strike, what will you do with your downtime?
John: I'm going to take the Summer off and spend it with my family.